For quite some time now we've have the pleasure of working with our volunteer blogger, Ryan Charles Parker. Each month Ryan generously donates his time and dynamic writing skills to provide invaluable content to our readers, telling the influential stories of community members and stakeholders who play a vital role in community-building. Ryan, too, has orchestrated admirable community-building through his writing from conducting interviews with our partner organizations at The Market to interviewing our Volunteer of the Month winner and Good Business of the Month recipient. We thought it was time to turn the tables and ask Ryan the questions, so Pam assembled a few to meet the acquaintance of the man behind the applauded words.
Who is your hero?
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Actually, in spite of the long, cold winters, I’m glad to live in Canada. I would say that I would want to live anywhere that allows me to have peace and happiness. As the saying goes: no matter were you go, there you are.
How long have you been in Red Deer? Have you lived elsewhere?
I grew up in a small hamlet just outside of Stettler called Erskine.
What motivates you?
Hearing about or seeing people that have overcome difficult obstacles and managed to build a good life for themselves inspire me. It helps me believe that I can do that as well, to the best of my ability. I have a serious mental illness so I especially look for stories about people that have gone through issues similar to mine and succeeded, even if it’s just doing something small.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
I like to write because it helps me organize my thoughts for real expression. For whatever reason, I feel a pressing need to express myself and writing is the best way for me to do that.
What is the hardest part about blogging?
In my work for Volunteer Central, it is sometimes nerve-wracking having to do the person-to-person interviews. That’s a challenge that I feel proud of doing. But it’s not the hardest part. I would say that the hardest part is transcribing audio from the interviews. It’s very tedious.
What's your favourite word?
I’ve actually discussed this with people before, and I am an ex-smoker, but my favourite word is “cigarette”. I don’t really know how to explain it. It’s just a beautiful word.
What makes you laugh the most?
I love a good stand-up comedian. Also, I’m pretty sure that my brother is the funniest person alive.
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
I would like to experience unadulterated peace for a day.
What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
My favourite sport is hockey, and that is also my favourite sport to play in the winter. In the summer, I love to play tennis.
Do you like to read? What are you reading currently?
I do love to read. Especially philosophy. I am currently reading (and watching interviews of) Daniel Dennett.
Do you have a your favourite author?
Albert Camus. I’ll give an honorable mention to Flannery O’Connor.
When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?
I like to listen to music, watch sports and meditate. I lead a pedestrian life.
What's your dream job?
Writer/philosopher. Or maybe a hockey player or professional skateboarder. It’s hard to choose one.